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1997 Editor Comments


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In 1997 Driessen and Suarez edited a book (Springer) on: Mathematical Undecidability, Quentum Nonlocality and the Proof of the Existence of God. Contributors were among others John S. Bell and Paul Davies. This document presents the comments of the editors (introduction, preface and final remarks).

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1997 Editor Comments

  1. 1. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 1 Alfred Driessen and Antoine Suarez (eds.) Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, Kluwer Academic Publisher (now Springer) 1997 Editors Comment I Introduction II Preface III Final remarks Alfred Driessen Affiliation (1997): Department of Applied Physics, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands E-mail: (2010) Antoine Suarez Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, P.O. Box 304, 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, E-mail:
  2. 2. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 2 I Introduction 1. Reality is intelligible and man’s knowledge and power limited The title of the present book suggests that scientific results obtained in mathematics and quantum physics can be in some way related to the question of the existence of God. This seems possible to us, because it is our conviction that reality in all its dimensions is intelligible. The really impressive progress in science and technology demonstrates that we can trust our intellect, and that nature is not offering us a collection of meaningless absurdities. Having achieved an amazing control over nature man is tempted to declare that “hard” science (i.e. the knowledge about what is observable and controllable) is the only reliable knowledge.1 It is remarkable, however, that present day science itself is inviting us to cross the boundary of what we can observe and control, and to enter the domain of meta- science. The same logic used in science seems to show also man's inherent limitations in power and knowledge. And that is what we first of all intend to show with results taken from mathematics and quantum physics:  Mathematical Undecidability refers to the result that man will never have a universal method to solve any mathematical problem. In arithmetic there always will be unsolved, solvable problems.  Quantum Nonlocality refers to the discovery that certain phenomena in nature seem to imply the existence of correlations based on faster-than-light influences. These influences, however, are not accessible to manipulation by man for use in, for example, faster than light communication. In the various contributions pieces of a puzzle are offered, which suggest that there exists more than the world of phenomena around us. The results discussed point to intelligent and unobservable causes governing the world. One is led to perceive the shade of a reality which many people would call God. In order to avoid confusion it is important from the very beginning to give a clear definition of what is meant by God in the title of this book. 2. What is it that people call God? When analyzing what people call God, one encounters in general two basic elements. First, there is an event or phenomenon which one tries to understand, to explain or eventually to control. Second, there is the awareness of one‟s own fundamental limits of understanding and controlling that specific phenomenon. These two elements lead people to think about the existence of God. It is in a certain sense the application of the principle of causality: if there is an effect, then there should be a cause. More specifically, if there is an effect which exceeds human knowledge and power by a large amount, then there should be a cause superior to man. One may say 1 This attitude represents the positivistic form of skepticism. Already the founding fathers of metaphysics, Plato and Aristotle, have been confronted with the skepticism of sophists, who denied the possibility of finding the truth. Aristotle argued that the fundamental statement of philosophical skepticism, that it is not possible to affirm anything truly, is already an absolute statement not demonstrable by science. By accepting this statement as an absolute truth, one is therefore in contradiction with its meaning. (cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book XI - Part 5). Plato and Aristotle‟s endeavor may encourage also present day men to search for truth beyond the observable and controllable.
  3. 3. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 3 that the first idea of God is that of a being who knows also those things we don‟t know and has the power to do things we cannot do. This view appears very clear in a conversation between the physicists Paul Davies and Richard Feynman. Referring to the laws of physics, Davies comments: at one time people used to believe that God explained the universe. It seems now that these laws of physics are almost playing the role of God - that they’re omnipotent and omniscient. And Feynman answers: On the contrary. God was always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries... God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don’t think the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.2 The postulate that man will one day, by means of science, reach a complete knowledge and control of nature and history was the heart of the materialistic worldview which arose in the XIX century 3 and up to now has exerted great influence. As Feynman suggests, the human mind is led to conclude the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent being, because this is a necessary assumption to explain those things that now are beyond human understanding and power. Consequently, if one assumes that one day man will be capable of explaining all mysteries, then one would not need God anymore. On the contrary, if it is possible to demonstrate that at any time in the future there will be always things beyond human understanding - mysteries - then one has to conclude that human knowledge and power is limited and inferior to divine knowledge and power. Therefore, any position arguing that human beings are capable, in principle, of reaching complete knowledge and control of the world, becomes also a position arguing against the existence of God. 3. The classical proofs of the existence of God and the classical criticism of these proofs Any proof of the existence of God implicitly refers to unobservable causes moving the world from beyond the realm of space and time, or assumes that there is an order in the world that does not arise from the human mind. The first is, for instance, the case of the proof of the unmoved mover that Aristotle gives in his Physics.4 He firstly states that movement in a circle as observed in astronomy is eternal and then concludes that there should be an eternal first unmoved mover who is the cause of the movement of the heavenly bodies. As the basis for his proof Aristotle clearly searched for a phenomenon that cannot be explained by a temporal chain of causes alone.5 However, the choice of the movement of the heavenly bodies was not a lucky one, as the arrival of Galileo‟s and Newton‟s mechanics showed. Thomas Aquinas, in his fifth way, states that the natural bodies lacking intelligence move not fortuitously but towards an end, and concludes that some 2 P.C.W. Davies and J. Brown, Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? Cambridge University Press, 1988, p.208-209. 3 see for example J. Laeuffer, Scientism and scientific knowledge of things and God, this volume, chapter XII. 4 Aristotle, Physics, VIII, 9-10. 5 see, e.g., A. Driessen, The question of the existence of God in the book of Stephen Hawking: A brief history of time, this volume, chapter XIV.
  4. 4. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 4 intelligent being exists by whom these bodies are directed and governed.6 Paul Davies reaches, on the basis of today‟s physics, basically the same conclusion, as he states that the universe is a coherent rational and harmonious expression of a deep and purposeful meaning.7 Notice that from the point of view of today‟s physics this argument is stronger than that of movement by Aristotle: In his 5th way Aquinas takes the appearance of correlations in nature as the very indication for the presence of causality and consequently of a cause. A drastic change in the appreciation of the classical proofs of the existence of God could be observed after the discovery in the 16th century that the laws of nature are written in a mathematical language. This discovery weakened the arguments of Aristotle and Aquinas, at least when one adds the assumption that mathematical truth is a man-made construction, and that behind the phenomena there is no physical reality which escapes observation. On the basis of these assumptions one may correctly conclude the following: If the cause of each phenomenon can be observed, and what is observed can be described in terms of mathematical information (algorithms or sequences of bits), and mathematics is a construction of the human mind, then the laws behind the phenomena and even the phenomena themselves are a man-made construction. Physical reality reduces to man-made virtual reality, and there is no reason why we, human beings, will not actually know and control the future of the world. The postulates that the laws of nature originate from human modes of thinking, and that every physical phenomenon can be explained by observable causes, are the heart of Kant‟s criticism of the proofs of the existence of God.8 They are also characteristic of the positions of Laplace and Comte.3 The summary of modern atheism is this: If one considers thinking as an activity in which God does not play any role at all, at the end one considers the exterior world as a domain in which God does not play any role either. The belief that God is not present in the thinking methods with which we become capable of mastering nature, is in practice widely accepted. For many there is a separation and intellectual incompatibility between scientific activities and religious life. The Dutch Nobel prize-winner, Simon van der Meer expressed this as follows: As a physicist, you have to have a split personality to be still able to believe in a god.9 4. The aim of this book Without any doubt the discovery that the phenomena can be described in mathematical terms has been of great benefit to the scientific, economic and cultural development of mankind. The above mentioned assumptions, however, that mathematics is a man-made construction and that observable things originate exclusively from observable things, are not so obvious at all. In the field of philosophy many arguments can be presented against it, but also new insight obtained in scientific research gives evidence for its disputable character. In this book, recent mathematical theorems are discussed, which show that man never will reach complete mathematical knowledge. Also experimental evidence is 6 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I. q.2, a.3, see also Aristotle, Fragments. Dialogues F 10 R3. 7 P. Davies Physics and the Mind of God, this volume, chapter XIII. 8 I. Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, B 647-B 667 9 S. van der Meer, news-paper interview, NRC-Handelsblad, Amsterdam, 18-4-1987.
  5. 5. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 5 presented that physical reality will always partially remain veiled to man, inaccessible to his control. It is intended to provide, in the various contributions, the pieces of a puzzle which restore the possibility of a natural, intellectual access to the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent being. One should bear in mind, that the argumentation of this book is based exclusively on noncontradictory thinking and observations from physical reality. When we therefore consider God, it is the reality behind the phenomena which people assume when they realize their fundamental limits in knowing and doing. But as said above, this principle that explains the mysteries we cannot explain, is essential to the idea of God as First Cause or First Mover, already encountered, for example, in pre-Christian Greek philosophy. In this use of the term God we do not necessarily include God as the Creator or first temporal cause. In our opinion, the idea of Creation as a beginning of the world in time is not something that appears to the mind as a necessary conclusion. In this respect it is interesting to note that in most of Greek philosophy, including Aristotle, the notion of a Creator is absent. Moreover, in the history of Christianity no formal declaration has been given that it is possible to prove by rational means the beginning of the world in time. Also philosophers like Aquinas, who delivered proofs of the existence of God, denied the possibility of a rational demonstration of the beginning of the world in time.10 Regarding the widely spread view of the Big Bang as the beginning of the Universe, we would like to emphasize that scenarios for the very early Universe have been proposed, in which the Big-Bang does not mark any beginning but is an event occurring in time,11 or where the character of a singularity has been removed.12 In comparison with the great monotheistic religions, the principle we refer to as God or even the God of the philosophers is conceptually still quite undeveloped. It is comparable to the notion of a Beethoven symphony for a person deaf from birth, who knows musical theory and can read the score. He gets real knowledge, but misses almost completely the full richness of the musical experience. Why then do we make the effort and go through all of this detailed reasoning? It is because of an optimistic vision on the capacities of human beings. Man with his intellectual effort is able to know the existence of an unobservable reality, which he already encounters deep in his heart. We think that the reflections presented in this book may contribute to showing that science itself can become a road leading to God. And this may undoubtedly promote the unity between man‟s scientific and professional activity, and his religious life. 10 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 46, a.2. 11 G. Veneziano, String Cosmology: Basic ideas and general results, CERN-TH/95-254, September 1995 12 Cf. S. Hawking, A brief history of time, Bantam Books, New York (1988).
  6. 6. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 6 II Preface On January 22, 1990, the late John Bell held at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics), Geneva a seminar organized by the Center of Quantum Philosophy, that at this time was a association of scientists interested in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this seminar Bell presented once again his famous theorem. Thereafter a discussion took place in which not only physical but also highly speculative epistemological and philosophical questions were vividly debated. The list of topics included: assumption of free will in Bell‟s theorem, the understanding of mind, the relationship between the mathematical and the physical world, the existence of unobservable causes and the limits of human knowledge in mathematics and physics. Encouraged by this stimulating discussion some of the participants decided to found an Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) to promote philosophical and interdisciplinary reflection on the advances of science. Meanwhile the IIS has associated its activities with the Fondation du Léman, a Swiss foundation registered in Geneva. With its activities the IIS intends to strengthen the unity between the professional activities in science and the reflection on fundamental philosophical questions. In addition the interdisciplinary approach is expected to give a contribution to the progress of science and the socio-economic development. At present three working groups are active within the IIS, i.e.: - The Center for Quantum Philosophy - The Wealth Creation and Sustainable Development Group - The Neural Science Group Since the talk by John Bell, and encouraged by him in those months before his unexpected death, the Center for Quantum Philosophy of the IIS has organized a number of seminars at CERN and promoted several symposiums and seminars in collaboration with different European University Institutes and Foundations13,14. During the holidays around the New Year of 1993 a group of scientists and University students met in the Italian Alps for a symposium on Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God. Each day of this meeting had its introductory lectures, followed by a vivid and informal discussion. Being present at all presentations and discussions the editors could observe a more than usual interest in the issues dealt with. Especially the manifold of disciplines represented by the attendees, like philosophy, physics, chemistry, mathematics and information science gave rise to unusual observations and remarks. The unceasing interest in the discussion on the relationship between Undecidability, Nonlocality and the Existence of God led the editors to the idea to prepare the present publication based mainly on the contributions of the above mentioned symposium. They are aware that the book cannot claim for any completeness. The experience, however, of the vivid exchange of thoughts in the different meetings justifies a preliminary summary of ideas. It is hoped that with this edition further debates and discussions will be strongly stimulated. The title chosen is intentionally quite provoking. How can mathematics and quantum physics be brought in connection with God? The introductory chapter 13 H. Thomas, editor, Naturherrschaft, Busse Seewald, Herford, Germany, 1991 14 H.-Ch. Reichel, and E. Prat de la Riba, editors, Naturwissenschaft und Weltbild, Hölder-Pichler- Tempsky, Vienna, 1992.
  7. 7. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 7 intends to show the connection. The body of the book is distributed in three parts. The first discusses the nature of mathematical knowledge, complexity and undecidability. Thereafter physics and nonlocality plays a central role. At the end general aspects of science and meta-science are dealt with and brought in relation with the existence of God. The block about mathematics starts with the contribution of Hans-Christian Reichel, from the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Vienna, about the recent developments in mathematics and the relation with the philosophy of mathematics. He discusses several concepts, like meaning, exactness, chaos, incompleteness, experimental mathematics, which ask for a deeper philosophical reflection. Gregory J. Chaitin from IBM Research Division, New York, one of the leading researchers on incompleteness and undecidability, explains why there are fundamental limits to what we will ever be able to understand. Moreover he establishes the somewhat astonishing parallelism between mathematics and statistical mechanics, and associates Gödel‟s incompleteness theorem with quantum mechanics. The next contribution is written by Filippo Cacace, an information scientist from the University of Napoli, who examines the relation between undecidability and the universality of a given mathematical problem. His analysis of the implications of the Turing theorem corroborates the existence of limits in man‟s knowledge of physical reality. Antoine Suarez, physicist and philosopher of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in Zurich, proves in a simple way that in arithmetic there always will be solvable unsolved problems and raises the question whether such problems refer not to the existence of a superior intelligence outside human mind. In any case, the Kantian view that mathematics is an a priori mode of man‟s thinking has to be given up. Juleon M. Schins, physicist from the University of Twente, finishes the first part with a discussion of Roger Penrose‟s interpretation of the Gödel and Turing theorems15. The second part on physics and nonlocality starts with a contribution of F. Tito Arecchi, Director of the National Optics Laboratory at the University of Florence. He discusses the role of the three C's - catastrophe, chaos and complexity - for science and includes philosophical considerations. Thereafter the transcript is given of the above mentioned lecture by John Bell at CERN on indeterminism and nonlocality. It includes also a selection of the informal one-hour discussion. In the following three contributions, written by physicists, the arguments leading to the Bell inequalities are further explained and an overview of experimental work is presented. Paul Pliska, physicist of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and patent attorney in Zurich, explains in a for non-physicists understandable language the nonlocality theorems by Bell, Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ), and Hardy. In addition he gives some comments on the relationship between the principles of free experimentation and nonlocality. Mark Fox from the Department of Physics in Oxford, reviews recent experiments on nonlocality. He emphasizes that one should make a distinction between Einstein‟s local-realistic view that rejects faster-than-light influences in nature, and the realism that admits a physical reality that is not exclusively a construction of the human mind. Antoine Suarez presents the principles of a nonlocal causal model, in which one is not led to assume an absolute time or a universal order of succession, and describes possible experiments where the prediction of this theory 15 R. Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind, Oxford University press (1989), Shadows of the Mind, Oxford University Press (1994).
  8. 8. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 8 would be in contrast to quantum mechanics. Juleon M. Schins finishes this section with a discussion of the recent book of Bernard D'Espagnat on Veiled Reality16, who in the context of quantum mechanics proposes an intermediary position between conventional realism and radical idealism. The third part of the book deals with several specific philosophical aspects and draws some conclusions. Jacques Laeuffer, Expert-Engineer for G.E. Medical Systems in Paris, discusses Laplace‟s and Comte‟s assumption that one day human beings will enjoy an absolute and total knowledge of the world. He also includes an analysis of the consequences of this scientistic or positivistic mentality for the knowledge of the existence of God. What follows then is the Templeton Prize Address 1995 of Paul Davies on Physics and the Mind of God, who asks the burning question, where do the laws of physics come from? Arguments sustaining that these laws are our laws, not originated by nature, he considers as arrant nonsense. in his view the universe is a coherent, rational, elegant and harmonious expression of a deep and purposeful meaning. Alfred Driessen, from the Department of Physics of the University of Twente and member of the board of the IIS, evaluates the bestseller of Stephen Hawking, A brief History of Time17, which is also a book about God...or perhaps about the absence of God18. He asks whether the impossibility to demonstrate the beginning of the world in time, as stated by Hawking, leads to the impossibility to demonstrate the existence of God. The final remarks by Alfred Driessen and Antoine Suarez summarize the main stream of argumentation in this book. By evaluations of recent results in mathematics and physics man becomes aware of fundamental limits in knowing and controlling reality. The plenitude and power of reality seems to exceed the capacities humanity will ever possess. In this way science opens the road to a reality which people in general call God. The book would not be finished without the willingness of the different authors and their contributions to the discussion, which helped to crystallize the ideas on this highly fascinating subject. The authors would like to thank J.M. Schins and A. M. Fox for their critical reading of some of the manuscripts. Kluwer Academic Publishers are gratefully acknowledged for their interest and stimulation for this edition. Enschede, 26 July 1996 A. Driessen and A. Suarez 16 B.D‟Espagnat, Veiled Reality, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass. (1995) 17 S. Hawking, A brief history of time, Bantam Books, New York, (1988). 18 C. Sagan in the Introduction of ref. 5
  9. 9. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 9 III Final remarks: Becoming aware of our fundamental limits in knowing and doing, implications for the question of the existence of God. Having arrived at the end of this book the reader may not be completely satisfied. He has read about mathematics, about physics and about the way others think about science. But, so what? Why has this wide-ranging material been brought together? Are there firm conclusions regarding what the title promises: the existence of God? A comparison already mentioned in the Introduction could help answer these questions. Consider the parts of a puzzle, representing in their totality a masterpiece of art. The parts on their own are only small, colored pieces of cardboard. In this book we tried to deliver some important pieces of that puzzle, indicated by the set of questions. The reader should decide whether the pieces result in more than a random distribution of colored pieces. Being optimistic the editors and probably others, will see the vague but certainly discernible contours of a reality beyond the things we can touch, see, hear, smell or taste. In any case, however, we are aware that we have not reached completeness in solving our puzzle; some pieces are still missing that further reflection should work out. The first piece of the puzzle is supplied by mathematics. Turing and Gödel have proved that in any formal (arithmetic) system one can formulate true statements, which are undecidable within the formal system in question. As a consequence, each formal arithmetic system lacks completeness. This means that man never can explore the full richness of mathematics, not because of limitations in our time or ability, but because of fundamental limits always present in any non-trivial formal system. The undecidability and lack of completeness in formal systems also have consequences for the origin of mathematical truth. The access of man to mathematical truth is fundamentally incomplete. Mathematical truth, therefore, cannot be an exclusive construction of the human mind. The second piece of the puzzle, somewhat related to the foregoing, arises from the experience of mathematicians of down the ages. There is information, knowledge of abstract relations, which can be „discovered‟ by man, but which is not a product of the human mind. In a certain sense the information discovered in mathematics at a certain moment has always existed and will exist forever. It is reasonable to relate this information to a reality, because information is something, it is not nothing. The question then arises: who, or which principle, supports this information? The human mind, with its limited access to mathematical information, surely cannot be considered the only candidate. Coming now to physics a new set of pieces of the puzzle can be found. Since Laplace, and even before his time, the ideal of physics has been to find or derive a set of equations, which allow a complete description of the reality accessible by the methods of physics. In other words, physicists try to find a unique correspondence between physical phenomena and representations in a formal system. This formal system would permit, at least in principle, the calculation of all physical events. It is obvious that enormous progress has been made in physics that has resulted in a quantitative description of many physical effects. Nevertheless, the equations of physics are at best a well-developed formal system. And regarding these systems Gödel and Turing have proved that these can never be complete. There will therefore
  10. 10. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 10 be physical events that cannot be adequately described by the formal system in question. It is therefore an illusion to hope that physical reality can be perfectly matched with a formal system, and therefore that physics can describe physical reality completely. Physical reality always will be more than a set of equations. The foregoing was an argument about an inherent shortcoming of any physical theory based on a mathematical description of reality. And the “weak point” was in mathematics rather than in physics itself. One could argue that physics could somehow circumvent this problem. The questions now arise whether there are fundamental limits to physics itself and whether physics can be considered to give a complete description of the phenomena. The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox one could consider as the next part of the puzzle we are trying to solve. The EPR paradox - a two-particle gedanken experiment - and the consequent work by Bell, brings the physicist face to face with nonlocal correlations. And nonlocality contradicts all traditional physical theories. But things are more subtle. When we give a theoretical description of EPR-like experiments using the relevant physical theory (in this case Quantum Mechanics) we come up with results that are in complete agreement with experiment. We should remark, however, that these theoretical predictions are presented as probabilities that can be verified only by a large number of events. This probabilistic description therefore seems to be a correct approach. Only if one considers the single event, has one to assume unobservable causes which result in nonlocality. The apparent contradiction could be solved if one assumes a fundamental incompleteness in physical theories. In some cases phenomena - or observable causes- which obey physical laws, are not the only actors that take part in the realization of the event. Other, unobservable actors that are not in contradiction with the statistical nature of our physical theories seem to affect the single physical effect. Consider for instance a quantum experiment in which the two output ports of a beam splitter are monitored by detectors D1 and D2. The fact that one of two detectors clicks may be explained by observable causes alone. But the particular alternative that D1 clicks and D2 remains at rest, or conversely, cannot be explained by observable causes alone. In general it can be stated that phenomena cannot be explained by a temporal chain of causes consisting of other phenomena. Also single particle events in nature, like a decay of a radioactive atom, seem to demonstrate the lack of completeness in physical theories like Quantum Mechanics. We can predict the decay rate with high precision, but we can say nothing about a single atom, when it will decay. It is even less known why it decays in that certain moment. The philosophically not so satisfying answer is that we may not ask these questions or that it happens by chance. In the case of the EPR experiment (an essential two-particle experiment) one has to give up the “chance” explanation. There is experimental evidence of a correlation between the two particles even in the case of a single event, which can not be the result of local hidden variables (Bell). Could it not be possible that also in single particle events the “chance” theory should be given up with the consequence of accepting the incompleteness of our physical theories? With the pieces of the puzzle presented above, are we now in a position to come to some conclusions about the total picture? The first could be that man, with his formal approach in science, precisely due to this approach misses part of the information contained in physical reality. The second is that man will never have complete control over nature because in technology he uses exclusively physical
  11. 11. A.Driessen & A.Suarez, 1997 Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God, editor's comment page 11 observable causality. It seems that observable causes produce necessarily the expected effect but are not sufficient causes for a particular event. Is this a question of our present ignorance? Will a future generation of mathematicians and scientists circumvent these difficulties? Or are we discovering traces of a powerful actor or acting principle who, as the support of information, has intelligence and is causing events in reality according to the physical laws? Certainly, we will not return to former primitive times when people appealed to a supernatural power in order to explain why the sun appears to go round the earth. But neither can we claim that we do not need such a being any more, simply because with modern science we now know considerably more about the reason why. And if we are obliged to give up the position that science will enable man to master all mysteries, the road to avoid absurdity may be the road that leads to a transcendent being. This is our third tentative conclusion. But does this not mean to return to the God-of-the-gaps, a cosmic magician invoked to explain all those mysteries about nature that currently have the scientists stumped, as P. Davies19 expresses? Is this not a dangerous position, as well? Probably not, because we have evidence that the gaps in our knowledge and in our ability to determine events are structural. It is not a question of knowing or doing more or less. In a certain sense nature can be considered to be a miracle, as Davies himself states, because natural phenomena have unobservable causes beyond the reach of any human power. There always will be unsolved mathematical problems, and we have to live with nonlocality. Finally, we would like to comment on an apparently paradoxical situation. Modern science which accepts man‟s fundamental limits in knowing and doing, comes out to be more efficient than the science which believed that man will some day be able to know all. Now, when we have given up the postulate of absolute predictability, we predict and control better as ever before. We become capable of doing more and more marvelous things just because we have accepted that we will never be able to do everything. Looking back now at the present book, we surely have not given a complete answer to all of the problems related to the title. Some results have been presented and conclusions have been given. One should bear in mind, however, that science is not the only access to reality. The rich world of human feelings and thoughts as expressed, for example, in literature, art, humanities and also in conversations in daily life, provides alternative routes to reality in all its dimensions. Could it be that the intelligent and powerful actor, whose outline, after much effort, seems becoming visible to the scientist, is identical with what people call God? 19 P. Davies, Physics and the mind of God, this book, chapter XIII.